Back Order Domain Names: How to Win the Bid

by | Jan 14, 2022 | Launch, Starting A Business

It’s frustrating to come up with a domain name for your website only to find it taken; however, there is a solution: Back Order Domains. A domain back order keeps you up-to-date so you know when a registered name expires and becomes available, which means you might be able to snag it. Here’s how to win the bid to claim your ideal domain name.

What is a Domain Back Order?

A domain back order is a service offered by domain registrars and auction services. If you find a registered domain name you can’t live without, a back order monitors the status of the domain name for you, alerting you when the status changes. Understand this doesn’t mean you automatically get to claim the name for yourself; it means the name is available and you may be able to get it through a competitive bidding process. Your back order informs you when the domain name comes up at auction.

How Do Back Order Domain Names Work?

To back order a domain name, you place a bid for the domain in the hopes the current owner decides not to renew their registration. When a domain is approaching expiration or renewal, you are informed; if the current owner elects not to renew, you will be alerted that the name is available for auction. In other words, you are one of the first people to know the name is available at auction. It won’t guarantee you get the name, but it does increase your chances.

You should shop around with different registrars to see what type of services they offer. For example, registrars offering “drop catching” technology tend to be more effective. This approach alerts the registrar as soon as the domain “drops” back into circulation, providing a greater chance of “catching” it in a very competitive market.

Understanding the Variables

The most important variable impacting a back-ordered domain name is whether the current owner will give up their registration. Although there is a 40-day grace period allowing current owners to renew an expired domain, most owners hold onto the domain renewal in advance of the expiration date. The further into the grace period you go, the more likely it is the owner won’t renew, but there’s always a chance they will, and the name never goes to auction. Also, there are public and private auctions, which means you can be up against a large group of competing back-order bids.

Remember the Redemption Period

The entire expiry period is actually about 75 days. Remember this when you see the expiry date. In addition to the 40-day grace period, there is a “redemption period” during which time fees and penalties apply should the owner decide, at the last minute, to renew. After the redemption period, the domain is locked for five more days before it is deleted and becomes available for back orders through auction. Bids must be placed through a domain registration auction house before the domain name expires. Be sure to know the expiry date so you are primed to bid.

In order to increase your chances of winning the bid, you also need to confirm which domain name registrar was used and which auction house will take back-order bids. You can search the domain name on WHOIS for that information. Monitor the domain name at the auction site where you register and be ready to bid.


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